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Russia plans to roll out S-500 air defence systems by 2012

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The new S-400 missile launcher.

ASTRAKHAN (BNS): Russia is planning to roll out its advanced S-500 air defence missile systems by as early as 2012, the country’s Air Force commander has said.

S-500, the advanced version of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system as well as US’ Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system, is currently at a blueprint stage at the Almaz-Antei company and is expected to be rolled out by 2012.

“This work is in progress...I think this system will appear in the near future,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Having a range of up to 600 kilometers, the new generation S-500 surface-to-air missile system is capable of engaging up to 10 targets simultaneously. It is designed for intercepting short and intermediate range ballistic and hypersonic missiles and for defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control, Airborne Warning and Control System, and jamming aircraft.

Its previous version, the S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler), is capable of intercepting and destroying airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers and can simultaneously engage up to six targets.

Russia's Defense Ministry considers the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems to its Armed Forces a priority at present, although exports of these systems to other countries of the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) could be considered, Zelin said.

Russia has deployed two S-400 regiments to protect its airspace around Moscow and industrial regions in the central part of the country, and an S-400 battalion in Russia's Far East, the news report said.

The Air Force General had earlier said that in line with a new defense model, air-space defense brigades within Russia's Air Force will be established and equipped with advanced S-400 and S-500 air defense systems.

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